We played The Bitter End for the first time on Friday. It was a fun show at a historic venue I’ve always wanted to play. I’ve played there before as part of someone else’s band, but it was nice to perform as Supersmall. We were joined on stage by David Humphrey on saxophone and Ruby Rae on backing vocals to fill out our sound.
We also set out our first merch table…yes, Supersmall is now for sale.
Another fun and busy week of music. I performed for the first time at the new location of Freddy’s Bar in Brooklyn both solo and singing with Ruby Rae. I also got to try a new song (These Dark Woods) at my regular Monday night spot at The Four Faced Liar as part of NYSolo6. The following night I was at Sarah Lawrence College performing in The Blue Room as part of So We Are, rocking out with acoustic Heavy MeNtal. I love doing college shows as the audience are respectful, attentive and helpful even if they are starting to make me feel a little old. Seems like only a short while ago I was studying for exams myself…apparently not.
I’m working on new shows for the summer and fall so stay tuned and don’t forget to check my schedule HERE.
A freakishly hot day yesterday up in the mountains brought some welcome relief from the ice, snow and cold we had been experiencing lately. Deer are hanging out under the pine trees a lot more while Turkey Vultures brazenly roam our property like an unchallenged street gang. Awful looking creatures. On a dark day their presence can be very foreboding.
I took a walk through the woods and am still amazed at how quiet they are. Not a single sound in winter. No animals, no insects, nothing. Just the dripping of melting snow and an occasional gunshot from a nearby hunter. I’m looking forward to summer and the ambient noise the woods will bring, filled with life.
This Walt Whitman quote hangs on a wall in my upstate cabin framed between a wood carved picture of a bear and a can of bear mace. I pay it no attention, never even noticed it until I woke the other morning with several scattered and fractured images stuck in my head. I have an excellent memory, my problem is that they don’t always sync up chronologically or geographically. I’ll remember a whole conversation I had with somebody, but forget when or where we had it. It doesn’t effect my day to day existence and I’m pretty sure most people are like this. I remember the bear wood carving because it was very recent, but I forget where and when I purchased the bear mace…which is illegal in NYC.
I daydream constantly, this is my excuse. In meetings, through conversations, during rehearsals, even at the occasional gig. I can’t help it, I have a real problem being in the here and now. I partly blame trying to juggle too much in my life, I partly blame social media and modern technology in general, but mostly I blame my chemistry. It just is who I am.
I’m standing in a stairwell and a girl is being led by me on a dog leash. I am leaving a show. It was in a warehouse somewhere in Brooklyn. I am wearing a suit jacket and it’s almost 3am. People were out of their minds on drugs and I felt old and out of place and I simply wanted a beer and to go home. It was a storytelling event, i’m pretty sure of that. Not sure when. This memory melts into a show at the back of Jimmy No.43 in the East village and a Hostel gig on the upper westside. Three entirely different gigs, locations and timelines. If I were to hazard a guess I’d say 2006, 2008, and 2014. At Jimmy’s I’m having an awkward conversation with a comedienne after the show and at the hostel gig I’m watching someone else play my guitar while we wait for the show to begin and I’m not happy about it. Why these are stitched together I have no idea.
I moved to NYC in 2003. The first year was a blur of working, paying bills, immigration and getting lost around New York City. Immense highs and crashing lows, hundreds of faces I can’t put names to, tipping, cab rides, coffee, being told I have an accent, being bored of saying were I was from and generally drowning in all the possibilities the city seemed to offer. It was late 2005 when I found my feet, had some cash together and started to work on a plan to pursue what I really wanted to do outside of my day-job. I was clueless but pushed the boat out regardless. I started writing over Christmas and by April 2006 I was on stage doing my thing. These memories are pretty vivid for good and bad reasons. Later in that year all the shows, people I met, and experiences I had slowly began to bleed into each other. And still do.
Random memories, people, snippets of conversations float around my head erratically, much like my pursuit of the arts. A woman spits fire from the stage, drunk and laughing until my head hurt in a tiki bar with people I’d later wish I’d never met, tuning my guitar on someone’s bed at an apartment gig, giving a cab driver my album and then getting the same guy months later and he had the CD in his player, bombing in a gay coffee shop, bombing at a hospital gig, bombing in a bookstore, first ever paid gig, performing with burlesque dancers on stage, playing songs for the first time to five people in some underground bar that closed soon after, singing to ten people in a theater, playing a song for the very last time, playing live on air, hearing my music on the radio, first review, nameless people in writing classes, pacing backstage before a show, rushing to a gig I didn’t want to do, getting home from red hook in a snow storm, falling asleep on subways and endless bad advice.
What I do remember accurately is the people I met along the way and have remained close friends with. We were together, I forget the rest.
I’d been meaning to write about this sooner but, y’know, laziness. I had a fun few days touring with Ruby Rae in Texas recently. I got to hang with some great folk, play music, drink beer and experience the south. All of my favorite things pretty much. Ignoring the band’s obsession with the card game Dutch Blitz, I think the photos below are enough to capture the whole experience. Also, eat at Whataburger if you ever get the chance.